Richard Wagamese was one of Canada's foremost First Nations authors and storytellers. Working as a professional writer since 1979 he was a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and televison broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of thirteen titles from major Canadian publishers. He was a success in every genre of writing he has tried. The 55 year-old Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Northwestern Ontario became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for Column Writing in 1991. As a published author he was won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction for his third novel Dream Wheels, in 2007 and the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award for his debut novel, Keeper'n Me in 1994. He published an anthology of his newspaper columns, The Terrible Summer in 1996 with Warwick Press and his second novel, A Quality of Light, in 1997 from Doubleday. A critically acclaimed memoir entitled For Joshua: An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son arrived in October 2002, Dream Wheels in 2006, and the novel Ragged Company and his acclaimed and bestselling memoir One Native Life in 2008. He twice won the Native American Press Association Award and the National Aboriginal Communications Society Award for his newspaper columns. Currently, his series One Native Life runs as a radio commentary and newspaper column in both Canada and the U.S. and was a weekly television commentary on CFJC-TV 7 in Kamloops, BC from 2007 to 2010. Richard led writing and storytelling workshops entitled From the Oral Tradition to the Printed Page in communities across the country. He was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in June 2010 in recognition of lifetime achievement in writing and publishing and is the 2011 Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in Writing at the University of Victoria. He was an esteemed public speaker and storyteller and had lived outside of Kamloops BC with his wife, Debra Powell, and Molly the Story Dog. We will all greatly miss Richard and the incredible contributions he made to Canadian culture. Richard Wagamese, October 14, 1955 – March 10, 2017.
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